Responsible Business Operations Literature Review

1940 words - 8 pages

Hawkins, David E: "Corporate Social Responsibility: Balancing Tomorrow's Sustainability and Today's Profitability", Palgrave Macmillan 2006Literature ReviewHawkins, David E: "Corporate Social Responsibility: Balancing Tomorrow's Sustainability and Today's Profitability", Palgrave Macmillan 2006As the book rightly states, there is hardly anybody in today's world who has not been involved with at least few aspects of sustainability. Even if a person is not employed, and does not get information from the media, one, by simply living, contributes and/or suffers from unsustainable corporate practices. The book raises an argument that appeals to every individual who sets safety higher than profit, and improvement higher than growth.I am, by upbringing and by social position, one of many advocates of sustain-ability. That is why the book would have had my positive attention from the start. The author would not have to explain the philosophical foundations of sustainability to win me over. I similarly to the author believe that every action results in reaction, and that the world started reacting to human industrialized action. I also believe that the world of perfect sustainability is a utopia, yet I know that the overall progress can be achieved.It was interesting to find out from the book that the ideas of sustainability are not exclusively driven by enthusiast philanthropists. It may be strange to imag-ine, yet the lion share of sustainable projects are indeed supported by com-mercialism. Surprisingly enough, the capitalism adopted sustainability dis-course as a good marketing policy. Be it for the better or for the worse, at least today every corporation seems to pretend to be sustainable versus adamant indifference of the past years.My optimism about sustainability, however, decreased, as the book definitely presented many challenges and obstacles in the line of needed improvements. For example, I am now skeptical about the possibility of matching the gap be-tween long-term sustainable policies of governments and short-term sustain-able policies of corporate share-holders. The book has also showed the there is a long way from being aware of sustainability to being committed to sus-tainability and even longer way to being fruitful in sustainable terms.The seemingly unrealistic nature of sustainable development comes from the fact the notion of sustainability is so complex. It includes fair trade, pollution, protection of species, well-being of poor people, support of ethical life-styles etc. Indeed, the sustainability in such light reminds of the utopia of Thomas Moore (perfect island), communism, etc. And in such perspective, the words of Alan Knight, the book's reviewer, seem to be right:"CSR or SD - it does not matter what you call them - they are both the same thing. They are good business, good citizenship and common sense" (Haw-kins 2006: xvi)It was good to see that Hawkins acknowledges the etymological power of lan-guage, i.e. the way that...

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